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Padres Kick Off New Season

The San Diego Padres today will open up their 2011 home schedule with the first of two games against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

The first pitch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. at Petco Park, but festivities begin with a block party at 11:30 a.m. along J Street in the East Village. The event will include music, food and family activities.

The Park at the Park will open at 1 p.m. with all other gates opening at 1:35 p.m.

Inside the stadium, television play-by-play announcer Dick Enberg will emcee opening day festivities and musician Jason Mraz will perform the national anthem.

Sailors from the USS Bonhomme Richard will unfurl the giant American flag used by the Holiday Bowl, and there will be a flyover by Navy F-18/E fighter jets.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by several Padres alumni, representing different eras of the franchise's 75 years in the major and minor leagues.

Team officials recommend arriving early, because the game is sold out.

The Metropolitan Transit System will operate special trolleys every 15 minutes, beginning at 1:47 p.m. from Qualcomm Stadium, with return service running from just after 5 p.m. until 45 minutes following the game's final out.

The Blue Line, which runs from Old Town to San Ysidro -- and past Petco Park -- will run every 7 1/2 minutes during the evening commute, according to the MTS.

The North County Transit District will run an extra Coaster train northbound from San Diego after all Padres games that start at 3:35 p.m., with most departures at 7:03 p.m. If games run late, the train will be delayed, but no later than 7:30 p.m.

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